Curiosity gets the cat, Ninja's story

Ever been in the situation where you put a load of dishes or linen away and a few hours pass before you notice you haven't seen your cat for awhile? Did he/she sneak in when your back was turned and you have shut the door without realising? Out of sight, out of mind! Cats have a tendency to get themselves into certain places where they do not belong, particularly places that are dark, quiet, warm and soft. The open door of a front-loader washing machine filled with soft clothes was too much of a temptation for one of our patients, Ninja, an eight month old Burmese kitten.

What started out as a nice place to have a nap ended in a wash cycle when Ninja's owners accidentally started the machine without realising he was in it. When it came time to hang out the load of washing Ninja was discovered, very scared and cold but alive nonetheless. It was the quick thinking of his owners rushing him to our clinic that saved his life. Ninja was suffering from shock and hypothermia with a temperature that would not even register on our thermometers. A quick examination of him revealed other health concerns. However our immediate attention needed to be on raising his body temperature. We started Ninja intravenously on warmed saline fluids and began to raise his temperature with heating pads, warmed blankets and hair dryers. Fifteen minutes later we managed to get his temperature to a readable 32.33 degrees but Ninja was far from being out of the woods.

It was an anxious wait for Ninja's worried owners and our veterinary team. Thankfully over the next hour Ninja continued to improve and his temperature stabilised to a safer 37 degrees. Ninja was given several medications to try to assist in preventing further illness such as aspiration pneumonia and damage to the surface of his eyes, and not to mention some pain relief as he had suffered some nasty bruising. Once stabilised Ninja was transferred to Murdoch Pet Emergency Centre for overnight monitoring and further treatment should he require it. We all breathed a big sigh of relief and amazement when we found out from Murdoch the next morning that Ninja had had a restful night with no complications and was going to be able to go home that afternoon.


We all too often think that the only danger to our feline friends is outside but we do not stop to consider what dangers we may have inside our house. We cannot stop our cats from being curious creatures but we can take five minutes to do a check around the house and try to identify potential hazards.

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